Before & After: From a Mishmash of Styles to Style Confidence!
Within seconds of talking with Cheryl I knew she was a truly remarkable woman and we immediately hit it off. Through our conversation, it was obvious that she openly embraces her natural boldness and playful nature in all aspects of her life including her impressive career accomplishments.
But there was one part of her life where this energy felt elusive to her: her wardrobe and personal style. She admitted that her clothing lacked the energy she embodies on the inside and she wanted to change that. When she shared with a friend (who had worked with me) that she wanted “my inner confidence to translate to my personal and professional style,” her friend told her about me.
Then the fun began!
While there are many elements to consider when putting together a wardrobe, there are always three factors I address first because they are foundational and transformational. We followed each of these steps as we made changes to Cheryl’s wardrobe (and we did it all virtually!).
1. YOUR BEST COLORS
There is no denying that color has an immediate effect on your personal style! The colors you wear can enhance and define your natural beauty or they can have the opposite effect and can drain you or even appear harsh or overwhelming. Adjusting Cheryl’s colors in her wardrobe made a huge difference as you can see here.
Cheryl’s natural coloring is rich and warm. When she wears cool pastels, or worse, when those pastels are muted as well, she loses all connection to her beautiful natural coloring and the colors fall flat. When she wears rich, warm tones like the orange mixed with black, as you can see above, she automatically feels empowered. Luckily, Cheryl looks great in black and we’ll talk more about that in a minute.
Even if we deepened the color of the pastel outfit, while it would look better…
…it still doesn’t feel beautiful to her. Which leads us to the second important aspect of pulling together an outfit you love: fit!
2. GOOD FIT
When it comes to the fit of an outfit, comfort and ease are always important to consider. No one wants to feel stiff or constricted in their clothes.
The good news is that there are many ways to achieve comfort without resorting to something that’s too baggy – which is what was happening with Cheryl in the outfit above. That’s one of the reasons why even if she could get that same outfit in a better color it still wouldn’t make her feel amazing.
Instead, we looked for clothing that skimmed her body and honored her curves without making her feel self-conscious. We adjusted necklines and lengths of sleeves and tops—all while still providing comfort and allowing for ease of movement.
As you can see, color and fit make a big different, but it’s #3 that makes it all feel natural!
3. EXPRESSING YOUR INNER BEAUTY*
Color and good fit are crucial to a successful outfit, but what goes hand-in-hand with those (and can even trump either or both of them) is expressing who you are on the inside. Without this, you’ll never feel truly satisfied in what you’re wearing. Instead, even if the outfit looks good and is a good color and fits you well, you’ll feel like you’re wearing a costume or dressing like someone else…because actually you will be!
Cheryl knew this intrinsically. During our initial conversation, she said, “I’m not interested in being a fashionista. I want to inhabit my clothing and express my personality!” She understood the power in reflecting her inner beauty in her clothing choices.
Getting there was where she got stuck!
Digging deeply we established her inner beauty words as:*
- Playfully perspicacious & resilient
- Vulnerable visionary
- Fiercely nurturing
- Bodacious (bold and remarkable)
Through those inner beauty words, you can see a lot of power in who she is – from someone who is playful and fierce to a visionary who is also bodacious with the strength of her natural resilience. Wow!
She also has a beautiful softer side – allowing herself to be vulnerable and nurturing. Her wardrobe needs to strategically reflect these aspects of herself—although not necessarily all in one outfit. She gets to pick and choose when to express which parts of herself depending on what she’s doing, where she’s going or simply her mood that day.
Believe it or not, even minor changes to one outfit allow her to express different parts of her personality. Take this dress, for example:
The shoes are a bit quieter (although still in the gorgeous bronze tone and yes, she loves heels) while the boots provide a more fierce and bodacious feeling along with the playful earrings. Subtle differences, yes, but enough to feed her soul and provide variety of personal expression.
Or, how about this softer casual top that is pretty on its own and in beautiful colors.
When she wants to bolster the playfulness or bodacious factor, she can add the sparkly boots (she LOVES these ankle boots!).
Earlier I mentioned that Cheryl looks good in black and she does. Black blends beautifully with her hair color AND it reflects the strength of some of her inner beauty words. When she wants to highlight those traits, black is one lovely option for her.
In the photo on the left, from her expression and stance, you can see her strength of character and her resilience. But she has to work harder to get those across without the support of her outfit.
When she wears something like the black dress with it’s perfect fit, it does the hard work for her – naturally expressing her visionary qualities, resilience and her bodaciousness—all in one! (And it wouldn’t have to be a dress for this to be true.) This outfit gives people clues as to who she is before she says a word AND, most importantly, it boosts her self-confidence.
Cheryl is not alone. Everyone can have different looks to fit different versions of their personality and to suit a variety of needs in their lifestyle. Using color, fit, accessories and style to reflect your inner beauty makes getting dressed that much more satisfying!
By exploring all these possibilities Cheryl is the first to admit that her style confidence has soared!
As you create your dream wardrobe, be sure to have these three tools handy to help you spark joy in every outfit you wear:
- Your best COLORS
- Good FIT
- Full expression of your INNER BEAUTY
When you run every purchase and outfit by these 3 concepts (personalized to you, of course), you, too, can experience ‘soaring self-confidence’ each time you get dressed.
Need help making this happen for you when you feel stuck? Join the next ‘Create Your Personal Style in 6 Weeks’ class where you learn all the tools you need to create a fabulous wardrobe AND you can get my personalized support along the way. Learn more here: Create Your Personal Style.
Here’s what Christine Flanagan says about her experience with the class: “I want to say in the past year I’ve found more confidence and felt more positive in my own skin because of the new way I’m looking at clothes. You armed me with a tool that helps me narrow my focus and make better decisions—the color palette. It’s been a game-changer when shopping/purging/creating. Love the guidance and wisdom you impart on us.”
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Many thanks to my amazing ‘before and after’ team:
Nicole Wenstrom (https://blondiesalonandspa.com/our-team) — Hair
Theresa Johnson (www.johnsonphotography.com) — Photographer
David Nicholas (https://www.dnimakeup.com/) — Makeup
*Inner Beauty Words: Each of my clients gets 4 personal inner beauty words. These are words or phrases that describe who she is at her core and essence. I have worked with hundreds and hundreds of women and no two have ever had the same 4 words. This is not surprising since each woman is unique and it’s exciting to help her find the wardrobe that makes her feel like she’s fully expressing who she is. There are many ways in which I help you uncover your inner beauty words. Find out more HERE.
All of Cheryl’s after outfits are vegan-friendly.